Music Reviews



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Artist: PANZER AG
Title: Your World Is Burning
Format: CD
Label: Accession Records (@)
Distributor: Indigo
Rated: *****
Andy LaPlegua tries hard to earn money by producing Electro/Industrial music. This is normally not very recommendable, moreover dangerous, but as far as the cow is able to give milk...who cares...? It is to mention that there are some nice "cows" placed in LaPlegua’s stable, other projects of him are ICON OF COIL and COMBICHRIST (both recording for Out Of Line). Under the PANZER AG moniker he herewith releases his second full-length CD. It is generally said his "American" version of Electro/Industrial music – this counts also for the artwork. So you’ll get also beside the expected portion of Electro inspired music, a full dose of real guitars sounds, some acoustic drums as well – and some real campfire romantic on tracks like "Among The Few" or "Not To Late" , this kind is definitively not my cup of tea. I have found only three pieces which made it for me, "Paper Angel", "Mother" and "Crash n’ Burn", all of them have a strong recognition and well filled in Electro ingredients. These mentioned tracks are also the ones we’ll surely can find on some dancefloors of the dark clubs. But most of the other stuff is really hard to pick up and drowns a lot in a too slow tempo. This is globally not the album which can grab too much attention by the mostly on electronic sounds minded European audience – it is still to hope that the good name Andy for sure has will help here. Check it in advance.

INSEKT: Teenmachine

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jun 09 2006
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Artist: INSEKT
Title: Teenmachine
Format: CD
Label: Dependent / NTP (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
I should admit that I have never spent to much attention on the words of Bono/U2, describing INSEKT as his most favorite Industrial band. Also the latest efforts of this veteran act from the motherland of EBM, Belgium, caught never really my attention too much after their reunion. But INSEKT still remains also for me a well known name, but mostly for their first works released on the long out of business KK Records like "We Can’t Trust..." and "Stress". The classic "Music From Belgium" 5-Track MiniLP/MCD, which featured their legendary track "Bacteria" finally made them undying and gave them a cult status. That these talented musicians would leave their safe haven they had in Alfa Matrix, and would to the same time join Johan Van Roy’s new label NTP, the companion label to Dependent, well – this fact can be seen as almost sensational and surely not expected. So here we have the first audio result pressed on a silver circle, a new studio album with 10 new tracks plus two remix works by EBM acts like FUNKER VOGT and SPETSNAZ. Of course the music of INSEKT has grown, and the classic EBM structures have received some development or the band has added other musically influences taken out of up to date styles. That’s what I expected. But EBM is still alive and kicking here. Check out track 4, "Isolated", a rough and almost chaotic piece reminding strong on some SEVERE ILLUSION efforts. Track 7 "Give It Up / "Don’t Give It Up" features well worked out vocoderized vocals, although it slows down some tempo. Also their energetic "Bambifucker", which could enter successfully the Cyberl@b 5 compilation of the Alfa Matrix label, is available here – whatever it means to fuck Bambi??? The music is globally mostly rough and could win a stronger Punk-like attitude especially on the first few tracks. The sound-wizard Eric Van Wonterghem has again worked out a fine musically effort, while Mario’s vocals are stronger and more effective than ever before. This album grows with you, the longer you spin it. Good stuff.

Evestus: Wastelands

 Posted by eskaton   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jun 06 2006
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Artist: Evestus (@)
Title: Wastelands
Format: CD
Label: D-Trash Records (@)
Rated: *****
From Evestus’s biography: "My biggest influences are Cartoons and videogames... screw that: FALLOUT! FALLOUT 2 changed my freckin life! The world I experienced playing that game is what I’m trying to bring to people through my music! I bring you the newwave of Electronic punk, Post apocalypse pop." That sounds about right. I must admit that I have a special place in my heart for the post-nuclear holocaust genre. I actually remember the drills and having to know where fallout shelters were (yeah, I know that this dates me a bit). The packaging is greatstraight out of 1950’s civil defense propaganda ("duck and cover" and the Civil Defense logo on the CD are nice touches). On to the music. Mad Max movies and other post-apocalyptic sources are heavily sampled in this album. This is beat driven, but if you are looking for hard and fast, you will be disappointed. In fact, "Health Guide – Featuring Stitch" is a nice swing track. "Visions of Before" is nice militaristic neo-classical with snare drum and synthesized strings. "Jet Flight part 2 – Bad Trip" begins with good harsh noisy beats, but then becomes more laid back. Overall, this is difficult to pigeonhole into a particular style, which is often a good thing. There seems to be a bit of everything here. That is not to say that the disc is random and inconsistent. The tracks all work together to make a cohesive whole. The samples also seem to work well with the music, creating a story rather than simply using them as a kind of shortcut as usually happens. This is a good album, but not terribly club friendly if that’s the kind of thing that you’re looking for. This is the first that I had heard from D-Trash or Evestus. So far, so good.

TAMTRUM: Elektronik Blakc Mess

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jun 05 2006
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Artist: TAMTRUM (@)
Title: Elektronik Blakc Mess
Format: CD
Label: Alfa Matrix (@)
Distributor: Soulfood
Rated: *****
The French mass destruction machinery aka TAMTRUM returns with a completely new studio album, their first on the rising Alfa Matrix label. Their signing nearly to the end of the last year has caused some confusion, because only a few weeks before Christmas they’d re-released their successful debut "Some Atomik Songz 2K5" at the US label DSBP in collaboration with their first French label La Chambre Froide. Surely the hopes were high at the DSBP to have them now on board, until Alfa Matrix intervened and gave them a contract "they could NOT resist". Somehow understandable, the possibilities with the Matrix are multiple, especially for the European continent. So here is the newest onslaught of this Punk- and Terror-inspired act, which now has became a trio. This new album is again an elementary assault against the fainthearted of us here, TAMTRUM again mix their influences well to a another explosive slop. Their typical speedy and straight Electro richly influenced by some Punk- and Death Metal attitudes, added male shouted vocals full of hate, sexism, sickness and perversion and a globally rebellious behavior are documented here already with the title of this CD (no typos here!!!). For the opening track of this CD "In A Little Skull Box" they could also add Rose Hreidmarr of the Black Metal act ANOREXIA NERVOSA for some guest vocals behind the microphone. Other outstanding tracks here can be named in the ultra-fast piece "Paranoiak, Hypokondriak and Toxicomaniak" (what a cool title!!!) and "Abort The Pope" (Yeah, this act doesn’t like to be sparse against religious themes...). That TAMTRUM are besides all rebellious and "Against Everything"-mood some well producing Electro musicians goes somehow a bit under. So please check the musically strong pieces here with "Deshumanization" or the surprising melodious track "My Fall". TAMTRUM take again no prisoners at all and you should pick up these piece somehow. Please note also the release date, 06th of June and so their number constellation: 6.6.6. Of course, this hellish stuff RAWKS again!

TACTICAL SEKT: Syncope

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Jun 05 2006
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Artist: TACTICAL SEKT (@)
Title: Syncope
Format: 2 x CD (double CD)
Label: NoiTekk (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
No other act signed under the German label NoiTekk has formed the typical sound and attitude of this label like Anthony Mather’s project TACTICAL SEKT. Having started as a solo effort to waste some time between releases for his main project ASLAN FACTION, TACTICAL SEKT became more successful with both previous releases "Geneticide" and the EP "Burn Process". Yes, this act is nowadays a big player in the hard Electro/Industrial scene, highest chart positions at big mail order services like Metropolis for example prove this well. No real wonder that the audience was waiting anxiously for this new full length. Too much hasn’t changed in the direction and the style of music for sure – why should it? Anthony again combines mostly hard and straight rhythm patterns with Tekkno-sounding bass lines and synth play, plus he adds his ultra-harsh distorted voice to the tracks. Definitively the kind of music nobody really can really sit still to – it works the best on the dancefloor of the dark clubs. It’s also a hard and noisy listening for your home entertainment, maybe a bit to much and overdone for the fainthearted of us. The stupid genre name "Hellektro" comes here definitively to mind and the music of some other acts like RETRACTOR, AGONOIZE or VIRTUAL EMBRACE offer allowed comparisons. Of course it is solid done and maybe the quality of TACTICAL SEKT lays in some thicker and more complex bass line sounds, but it definitively holds nothing surprising in the background. It is the expected kind of EBM/Dark Electro dose, which has some highlights, for example in "Awaken The Ghost (Final Awakening)", "Waiting For The World To End" which both offer a strong dedication to some changes of the snare and kick sounds. Also "Dark Sky" offers some well done breaks, while "American Me" brings in some heart-felting voice samples all based on the tragic happenings at 9/11. Maybe this track is meant as a special "welcome back" statement to the Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, because Anthony lately decided to go back to the States and he’s currently on the move back to his home area in California. So we have in all 12 very satisfying tracks which once more will mark TACTICAL SEKT’s status to be one of the leaders of hard Electro/EBM/Industrial music in the world. I had also the luck to receive a piece of the limited and numbered of 2000 exemplars box set as a promotional copy for this review (thanx Marco!!!). It features an extra disc with 8 new and previously unreleased track of TACTICAL SEKT. Normally bands out of this music genre do offer more less tasteful arranged remix works done by mostly well known scene acts – but not TACTICAL SEKT. Again – this 8 tracks are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED!!! EXTRA TRACKS for your hard earned money!!! The quality maybe alters a bit on a few tracks, also some long-time running instrumental pieces are on here, but the die-hard fans of this act know very well, which issue they have to pick up. Hurry up and ask for this limited box set - it should be sold out soon and become a collectors item.


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